2.3 National strategy on youth volunteering
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With respect to youth volunteering there is not a standalone strategy to tackle youth volunteering.
There is no specific state legislation for youth volunteering, however, general regulation has been produced. As from 2015 there is a new Volunteer State Law 45/2015 (Ley 45/2015, de 14 de octubre, de Voluntariado) regulating state competences and offering companies, universities or Public Administrations the possibility of becoming a target audience for volunteers as well. The only mention to the youth population in the current law refers to the population under 18 years when it alludes to the needed permissions given by their tutors.
The law establishes a Volunteering Statute for volunteering entities and volunteers who participate or carry out volunteering programmes of state or supra-autonomic scope developed in Spain or abroad. This agreement is considered as the instrument of definition and regulation of relationships between volunteers and the volunteering entity.
Other relevant aspects to be pointed out from the Volunteer Law 45/2015 are the followings:
- The rights of people benefiting from the volunteering activities are regulated.
- Its article 14 accounts for rights and responsibilities of the volunteering entities.
- The minimum age to become a volunteer is now 12.
- The law establishes the scopes of volunteering actions: social, international of development cooperation, environmental, cultural, sports, of leisure and free time, communal and of civil protection.
- Public Administrations as well as companies shall favour measures so that employed workers or public employees may carry out their volunteering activities.
- New forms of volunteering.
When dealing with regulations on youth volunteering in Spain, the singularity of the territorial organisation has to be taken into account. Spain is conceived as a State of Autonomies, so that the specific features of youth volunteers shall be dealt with what autonomies have specifically legislated for youth volunteering.
Apart from the laws already mentioned, there are other official documents with contents addressed to volunteering, regardless of the age of volunteers.
When taking on the requirements for the establishment of an entity whose purpose is volunteering, special attention shall be placed on the Law 43/2015 of the Third Sector of Social Action (Ley 43/2015, del Tercer Sector de Acción Social) that came into force the 11th of October of 2015. This Law regulates entities belonging to the Third Sector of Social Action, as it reinforces their capacity as a spokesperson before the General Government Administration in all the matters concerning social public policies and defines measures of promotion that the public powers may be able to adopt for their own benefit.
Youth Strategy 2030
The specific goals for youth are included in the Youth Strategy 2030 (Estrategia Juventud 2030), which works as a reference framework for youth policies in Spain, with a timeframe going between the year 2022 to 2030. This Strategy, which amongst other dimensions relies on volunteering, is also a forward planning tool of the existing tendencies for the near future.
Axis 6 of this strategy is dedicated to "Youth and global transformation, participation and volunteering" and objective 6.2 is specifically dedicated to "Promote volunteering and the values of solidarity associated with its practice".
25,668,685€ is dedicated in the Action Plan 2022-2024 to "Bringing the European Union closer to young people and developing international volunteering, training and employment programmes".
Specifically, the measures dedicated to volunteering are "Development of the European Solidarity Corps through voluntary activities" with a budget of 21,863,941€, "European Solidarity Corps. Organisation of solidarity projects" with a budget of 3,147,760€ and "Promotion of international volunteer camps and support for academic mobility, volunteering and cultural exchange programmes for Ibero-American youth" with a budget of 18,000€.
The responsible authority is the Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda. Each Autonomous Region has also its own authority, developing plans and strategies for action volunteering exclusively within its own territorial scope.
There has been little change in the approach to youth volunteering in Spain. They have not been at the legislative level but in terms of plans and other actions. Thus, in the 2020 youth strategy (Estrategia Juventud 2020), within the axis that talks about “Participation, volunteering, inclusion and equality”, there is only one objective related to volunteering, but it is also related to other objectives. In the Youth Strategy 2030 (Estrategia Juventud 2030), within the axis that talks about “Youth and global transformation, participation and volunteering”, there is an exclusive objective “to promote volunteering and the values of solidarity associated with its practice”. Within this objective, the line of action for the development of the normative and strategic framework in the field of youth volunteering and participation is marked.